On a recent trip to Stockholm, I decided to spend one more day in Sweden and travel west to Gothenburg. Why Gothenburg? It’s a city of delicious food, old-Swedish architecture, eclectic coffee culture and microbreweries.
Gothenburg is calm in comparison to Stockholm, but no less beautiful. Whether you’re there for one day or several days, you’ll find plenty of things to do in this Swedish seaside town.
I only had one day in Gothenburg, but left feeling grateful to have experienced another part of Sweden. If you visit in late spring or summer, you’ll likely have great weather. I was there in mid-April, and while it was cold (~40 degrees F), we didn’t experience any crowds, which meant we got to do everything we’d planned.
One Day in Gothenburg
We woke early on our third day in Sweden and walked from our hotel, Haymarket by Scandic, to Central Station.
Our train to Gothenburg left at 7:15 am and was a four hour trip. We’d picked up extra cardamom and cinnamon buns from Fabrique the day before, but were pleased to find breakfast, as well as tea and coffee was served in our ‘first class’ cabin. We’d only booked first class because it was the same price as other tickets, and we wanted to be in the quiet car- score!
Once we arrived in Gothenburg, we picked up 1-day tram tickets from Pressbyran for ~£7. We ended up walking everywhere, but used the trams to get to/from our Airbnb in Old Town since we had luggage.
The tram system reminded me of Amsterdam’s transportation and was incredibly easy to use. Pressbyran’s (small convenience stores) sell 1 and 3 day tourism options if you want the option of using the tram (or buses) while in Gothenburg.
After we checked into our Airbnb, we walked to Cafe Husaren for cinnamon rolls as big as our heads (!). The cafe also has a bunch of other treats, and sandwiches, so there’s something for everyone.
Next up, we wandered around Old Town for a while, taking in the historic Swedish architecture and popping in shops. My favorite stores: Market 29 for Swedish soap and homewares, Bebop Antik also for homewares, Rum for Inspiration for knick-knacks, Sjutton kvadratmeter Lakrits for a beautiful licorice selection, and Santa Domingo/Dirty Records for Dominican quality coffee and sweet treats.
Then, we decided to walk back towards downtown- Gothenburg is incredibly walkable.
We walked alongside the main canal, stopping at Feskekorka, the fish market on our way. The fish market is housed in a church-esque building that dates back to 1873 when the fishing industry was Gothenburg’s biggest industry. The market is filled with seafood vendors and a few restaurant stalls.
We kept walking until we reached the intersection of Magasinsgatan and Sodra Larmgatan. A few streets over, on Vallgatan, you’ll find more mainstream shops (and more tourists).
We strolled down Magasinsgatan, popping into The Kitchen and Artilleriet, both gorgeous, well-curated home stores. A side door in Artilleriet leads into a courtyard, which is when we realized all of the shops on the block are connected by the shared space.
It was so perfect and adorable, there’s a coffee shop, da Matteo, which offers several tables/chairs and benches in the courtyard for people to take fika.
We kept wandering down Vallgatan, and popped into Vallgatan 12, a cafe/store hybrid with cool accessories and clothes. Right as we were getting ready to turn around and head to a cafe that’d been recommended to me for fika, I saw an alleyway and we decided to head down it. Super glad we did- we came across a Granit, one of my favorite stores from our time in Stockholm, a darling flower shop, and a cute stationary store, Rum for Paper.
Since we were nearby, we decided to stop in Gothenburg’s food hall, Saluhallen. We perused the stalls, but weren’t quite ready to eat after the huge cinnamon roll we’d had earlier, but- there are a bunch of stalls selling fresh seafood, meats, and olives, as well as a few veggie friendly shops- one near the back had awesome looking smoothies and juices.
We were ready for an afternoon latte, and headed to Kale’i to relax for a bit. Unfortunately though, it was closed for the holiday (Holy Saturday). Luckily, we spotted a cute outdoor cafe/garden next door and headed into Hoga Nord Cafe to check it out. So glad we did, because it was the perfect spot to cozy up against big, cushiony pillows and drink an afternoon pick-me-up.
We’d planned on having dinner at a restaurant we walked past earlier in they day, but decided to have a snack at Forssen & Odberg, next to Hoga Nord Cafe first.
Forssen is an oyster and champagne bar, talk about ‘on brand’. #HeartEyes
We ordered a dozen oysters, a few kinds of cheese, olives and had a couple glasses of champagne, enjoying the late Saturday afternoon.
When we were truly hungry, we headed to Barabicu, an American-esque restaurant we’d passed earlier that looked interesting. Pretty much had the perfect meal here- a warm winter greens salad (tons of roasted kale/brussel sprouts/carrots with greens, lentils and fetas) and couple glasses of Malbec.
On our way back to Old Town, we stopped in Jerntorgets Brygghus to try some of Gothenberg’s micro-brews.
The next morning, Easter Sunday, we slept in and wandered Haga (Old Town) for a bit before checking out of our Airbnb.
We dropped our luggage off at the train station (£6 for four hour storage), and then wandered the nearby park, Tradgardsforeningen before popping in Nordstan, the town mall, for something to eat. A lot of places were closed Sunday morning, and our train to Stockholm left at 1 pm, so we didn’t have a lot of food options that morning, unfortunately.
Before boarding the train, we grabbed sandwiches from Central Station, which by the way, is one of the nicest train stations I’ve been to in Europe- lots of food vendors and shops.
Would I go back to Gothenburg? Absoluetly, although, I’d probably opt to go in the warmer months to experience some of the things we weren’t able to do.
On My Next Trip
- Gothenburg City Museum: Tells the story of the city from the Viking era to modern day
- Island-hop the Gothenburg Archipelago, easily accessed by local ferry
- Gothenburg Botanical Garden: I’ve heard great things about the garden during the warmer months
- Palmhuset (the Palmhouse): Not only does this greenhouse house a variation of tropical plants, but there’s also a restaurant here, which sounds like the perfect place to have a late lunch
- Olstugan: This pub has a few locations around the city, and is known to have an impressive selection of Swedish beer